I am happy to say that the day we thought might never arrive has come: elephants Tina and Jewel are cleared from quarantine. No more sanitizing mats, changing our clothes, and washing our hands every few minutes. YEAH! However, don’t expect to see them out right away; the process of introducing them to the rest of the San Diego Zoo’s herd at Elephant Odyssey will take some time. (See post, Elephants Tina and Jewel: Training Progress)
Currently, our main goal is preparing Jewel for her first dental procedure, scheduled for early December. We are making modifications to the building and getting both girls comfortable being away from each other for increased lengths of time.
Every day is an interesting adventure! Tina and Jewel continue to work well for the keepers. Work on their feet is coming along nicely, and we have successfully taken X rays of all four feet on both of them. They have even gotten a glimpse of the other elephants. Surprisingly, they didn’t have much of a reaction.
While we offer them a variety of enrichment items, the ball still seems to be their favorite toy. We fill it with pellets, and they bounce and roll it around to get the food out.
Stay tuned for the adventures to come.
Victoria Zahn is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo.